The Buying of Homes Has Become More & More Frantic Since the Marshall Fire  

I had a busy weekend this last Saturday and Sunday. With two new listings, I held each open for two hours. I couldn’t even count the number of visitors at the single family home listing that I held open on Saturday. Listed at $495,000, over 120 agent showings had been scheduled during the five days that it was active, and I received 25 contracts for it by the Sunday afternoon deadline. It went under contract for $630,000 on Sunday evening.

Surprised by this level of interest, I did some research Monday to quantify the increased buyer activity. Here’s what I found.

During the first 23 days of January, 403 Jefferson County listings went under contract.  Of those, 295, or 73.2%, had been active a week or less at the time they went under contract..

But not only were new listings selling this month. Twenty-four, or 6%, of the listings that went under contract in the first 23 days of January had been languishing on the market for 3 months or longer. Three listings had been on the MLS for over half a year.

My very busy open house on Saturday, Jan. 22nd in Arvada

Of the 403 contracts written so far in January, 36 (8.9%) were for homes listed for $1 million or more. The most expensive home on that list, a 1930 ranch-style home in Genesee Ridge that had been on the MLS for 275 days, went under contract last Monday. This didn’t happen because of a recent price reduction. It had been listed at $5.9 million since last July 15th. It was originally listed at $6.6 million on April 1, 2021.

So, how does January’s activity compare with December’s?  In December, a total of 554 Jeffco homes went under contract, most of which have now closed. Of those, 336, or 60.6%, had been active a week or less, versus 73.2% of the January contracts Twenty-five of them, or 4.5%, had been active for three months or longer, versus 6% in January..

Forty-four Jeffco homes (7.9%) sold for $1 million or more in December, compared to 8.9% in January.

So, yes, statistics do reflect a more frantic sales pace in January.

Taking a longer perspective, let’s look at the 4th quarter of 2021 vs. the 4th quarter of 2020.

In the latest quarter, 56% of the homes went under contract in 7 days or less, versus 60.2% in Q4 of 2020. A smaller percentage of homes that had been on the MLS three months or longer sold in the 4th quarter of each year — 3.9% in 2020, down to 3.0% in 2021.

Having established the statistical basis for my observation that home buying has become more frantic this month, let’s look at possible reasons.

At least one of the 25 contracts I received last weekend for my Arvada listing was from a family which lost their home in the Marshall fire.  They are currently living in an Airbnb.  Others may have been from victims of that fire, but they didn’t say so in their offer.

Another buyer was an investor who told me that they were rushing to buy a home because they felt prices were rising at an increasing rate. This buyer thought that despite the bidding wars, they could get a better deal now than if they waited another year to add to their portfolio.

Rising interest rates and the expectation of further increases later on probably are playing a role. People want to buy before rates increase further. You may have read that a high percentage of buyers are cash buyers, but this has not been my experience, and only three or four of the 25 contracts I received for my listing.

Author: Golden Real Estate, Inc.

Golden Real Estate is a prominent member of the Denver/Jefferson County real estate scene. Based in Golden, we service both Denver and Jeffco, representing both buyers and sellers. We're well known for Broker Jim Smith's weekly "Real Estate Today" column published in the Denver and Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section each Thursday. The column also appears in several weekly newspapers and is archived at We have nine agents, all of whom are Realtors and EcoBrokers. Our office is Net Zero Energy since December 2017, and several of us drive electrics cars. Known for our sustainable practices, we accept polystyrene (aka "Styrofoam") for recycling, keeping 200 cubic yards per year out of area landfills.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: